ABOUT NASSAU, BAHAMAS
At the beginning of August, my and I took our international summer vacation and headed down to Nassau, Bahamas. If you all don’t know, my husband and I made a pact that every summer we would take at least one international trip and five total trips throughout the year. Last year, for our honeymoon, we visited Punta Cana, and this year we went tropical again and decided to visit Nassau, Bahamas.
Nassau, Bahamas is known as the island of treasures, and I can attest that information is absolutely true. All around the island we found special treasures that were a true treat which gave us the peace and serenity that we were looking for on our Caribbean vacation.
Fully known as Nassau Paradise Island you can travel around the island with ease or stay on your all-inclusive resort. There are a variety of things to do around the island and you’ll find something that will fit the type of trip that you want to have.
Our trip to Nassau was amazing. It was so amazing that we are actually headed back to the island right after Christmas. But instead of flying and staying, we will be taking a cruise to the island where we will dock for a day and then head back. There are so many reasons as to why you need to visit Nassau, Bahamas so other than giving you those reasons, I’m also providing some tips for your Nassau vacation.
Stay IN NASSAU, BAHAMAS
During our vacation in Nassau, Bahamas, we stayed at the Riu Paradise Island Resort. The resort is an all-inclusive beach resort, which as I am sure that you can assume, made it so much easier for us to enjoy our entire vacation without worrying about planning as there was a lot of food options, activities, and assistance available at the resort. There are many ways to travel in a destination. For some locations, I would typically say to try to plan your own itinerary and explore the area and culture, but for this type of trip, if you’re looking just to get away and relax in the Caribbean, I highly recommend going all-inclusive. With an all-inclusive option, you don’t have to worry about carrying around money to pay for food or drinks throughout the vacation unless you elect to leave the resort.
The Riu in Nassau was comfortable for us and their recent renovation and change to an all-inclusive is a big upgrade. Right outside is the beach where you can expect to find vendors selling trinkets, specialty drink services and a collection of men selling rides on jet-skis. We ended up buying into the jet ski experience and purchased a specialty drink just for the experience and we didn’t regret the decision at all. If you think that is something that you would be interested then make sure you bring some cash down to the beach.
The resort is also located next to Nassau, Bahamas Atlantis. If you’re interested in stopping through, it is a short walk down the beach or through some back ways that will lead you to one of the many entrances into Atlantis. We did end up walking through to see all of the amenities they have at Atlantis and also to check out their aquarium which is great for a family experience if you are traveling to Nassau on a family vacation. If you do decide to visit Atlantis, do keep in mind that the resort does have a variety of different experiences including an aquarium and dolphin encounters, but it is not all-inclusive and the restaurants do get booked pretty quickly.
What to Do IN NASSAU, BAHAMAS
If you’re planning to go off resort and experience some of the adventures and treasure of Nassau, don’t worry about doing money exchange. If you have Bahamian dollars, then, of course, use them, but US currency is also accepted and many of the vendors and excursion organizers tend to prefer US dollars as a form of payment. Many people end up setting up excursions using the specialists on resort, but I highly recommend booking ahead of time. You can do so through a travel agent, if you’re using one, or book directly with the excursion business – but make sure to inquire about transportation prior to booking so that all is set up correctly and you are picked up for your scheduled excursion.
If you are just venturing around Nassau, there are many places that are easy to walk to but there is also public transportation. Make sure to check with the resort or travel agent to get information about safe transportation before just walking off the resort and getting into a car that claims they are a taxi.
ADVENTURE IN NASSAU, BAHAMAS
My favorite moment of the vacation was when we went to the Dolphin Encounters at the Blue Lagoon. From our resort, we took a boat ride over to the Blue Lagoon where they had a variety of activities, private beaches (also a separate, closed-off beach for those who want to stay adults only) and swimming/interacting with a variety of sea life. Hubby and I spent the majority of the day at the Blue Lagoon. We spent the day sitting on the adults only section of the beach, sipping on cocktails, eating food, and waiting for our turn with the dolphins. The experience was amazing!! We got to dance, kiss, touch, feed, and talk to a dolphin up close. Being up close to a dolphin and seeing how friendly and loving they are was something that I can’t really describe in words. I mean, I can tell you all about it. But you have to experience it for yourself.
We had considered doing the swimming with the pigs but opted to go against it. The main island to do the experience is Exuma, and unless you are staying on the island of Exuma, you are looking to pay upwards of $400 to do the experience. And though it does include food, you are going to spend the majority of the day on a boat to get to the island. Many people who said they were going from our resort had talked about taking the flight over to the island and getting a room for the day. That just seemed like a little too much for us, and instead we wanted to just stay on Paradise Island and Nassau and enjoy what they had to offer.
Atlantis is also located on Paradise Island near Nassau. Atlantis is a resort but is also a tourist location. Many people can still go to the resort without having to be staying at the resort and enjoy some of the great things they have to offer. Later in the evening on a day in the Bahamas, we trekked over to Atlantis and were able to go through their aquarium and also see all of the various marine life that they have in their above ground pools. At Atlantis, they also have sea lion encounters, dolphin encounters, and a variety of other sea life activities. We had only visited for the aquarium, after taking a very short walk through the casino and luxury shops within Atlantis. But there was so much to offer that we are highly considering this being an option for us to stay the next time we are in the Bahamas.
EAT AND DRINK IN NASSAU, BAHAMAS
The main thing that you have to do when going to Nassau is visit the Straw Market and go to the Fish Fry. You’ll find both of these spots in downtown Nassau – the place with all of the bright buildings and people on the street that you see in the photos. The Straw Market is the main place that you’ll want to go to get your souvenirs. There are a lot of handcrafted pieces that you can get and bring back with you to decorate your home. Even more, you can barter with the sellers in the straw market for a fair price. Then once you are done shopping, you need to head over to the Fish Fry for authentic Bahamian cuisine. Yes, the food is great in restaurants and in the resort, but it is not the authentic taste that you’ll get from going to the Fish Fry. And don’t be fooled by the name, it is not all fish – though it is an island, so take advantage of the seafood that they have, it isn’t shipped in on containers like ours are. Though note, that most of the food is fried.
We also went to Margaritaville. This place is a hot spot for many tourists, and it was quite fun being able to go and spend time with the newfound friends that we met at the resort. We bonded over tequila shots and immaculate margaritas. The food was also great. I highly recommend the Ahi nachos. It has a spicy kick that I loved, but I do wish they included a little bit more tuna to go with the plethora of nachos that we had. The plat is probably big enough to split between two people. Also, be prepared to spend a good chuck on the bill. As a heads up, the tax in the Bahamas is a lot higher than many other places. Mostly because the majority of their resources are imported, so they have to balance out with their taxes. Gratuity is also immediately included on the bill. For four people, the bill for just the gratuity and tax came to about $70.